Apple Wins Access to Information on Android Development History and Motorola Acquisition Talks

androidBloomberg reports that a federal judge in Chicago has ruled that Google and Motorola Mobility must share with Apple background information on both the history of Android development and Google's pending acquisition of Motorola as part of an ongoing patent dispute between Apple and Motorola.

The development is a key one for its impact on drawing Google into the patent fight that has until now mostly seen the company staying in the background of the Android-iOS patent disputes with Apple going head-to-head with hardware manufacturers.

Google Inc. and a Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. unit were ordered by the U.S. judge presiding over an Apple Inc. patent lawsuit to turn over information about the development of Google’s Android operating system.

The Motorola Mobility unit and Google must also hand over to Apple information about Google’s pending $12.5 billion acquisition of the mobile-phone maker, U.S. Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner in Chicago ruled yesterday. [...]

“The Android/Motorola acquisition discovery is highly relevant to Apple’s claims and defenses,” Apple’s attorneys’ said in a March 2 filing requesting the judge’s order.

Motorola has argued that it can not compel Google to comply with the order, given that Google acquisition of Motorola has not yet been finalized, but Judge Richard Ponser apparently disagrees with that assessment.

Access to information on Android's development history could provide Apple with more ammunition in its efforts to bring down the platform. Steve Jobs notably referred to Android as a "stolen product" in his biography, vowing to wage "thermonuclear war" with Apple's entire cash hoard in an effort to destroy Android. Apple has won several court decisions against hardware manufacturers over their Android-based products, forcing minor tweaks to their functionality and/or design in several markets, but it has not yet struck a crippling blow to either the hardware companies or Android itself.

Top Rated Comments

dethmaShine Avatar
116 months ago

That's fascinating. How exactly can you "willfully exploit" something that by its very definition is FREE SOFTWARE. Java has been put under the GNU General Public License by SUN before Oracle acquired the company. I find playing the patent game on a technology that was made available as free software rather absurd.

Let me make this point clear. I don't know much about the GNU GP License and I've no idea what Oracle was beating at. All right? In the past I've never ever written about Oracle Vs Google because I haven't followed the case at all and I've no specifics whatsoever. My main intention was that even though some of the critical emails existed, Google explicitly hid them as they never existed. Very analogous to the situation above, a lot of confidential info will be missing in the ruling. That's all. Understood?

Android itself is also free software. While a system might be require a license from Google to get access to the Android Market and while most companies require assistant from Google to get the software running on their hardware, it nevertheless is open source software and can be used by anyone.

Understood, but that has nothing to do with this case. All I know is that Oracle is not that stupid. But again, don't discuss the specifics with me. I have no idea about them.

But regarding those eMails... Will we also get access to the eMails from Steve Jobs in which he orders his employees to rip off the LG Prada? And what about those emails in which he decreed to rip off Android's notification system? And that whole iCloud concept... Doesn't that look awfully familiar to what Google provides for their Android devices?

Say what you want, but you've been irresistibly foul mouthing Apple/Apple fans/iOS/OS X on these forums. You've never once left an opportunity to speak good of Android. But lets make some thing clear.

Apple had a case -- they got access to those documents. Just like Samsung got access to iPhone 4 firmware source-code (?) and some of the official documents from Apple for sales in Australia and contracts with Qualcomm. Lets put that rhetoric aside.

Moreover, the cloud concept existed in 1999. Apple successfully implemented it with iBooks. What part of iCloud was ripped off from Google? You mean 'sync'? Sync existed in the form of 'Email', 'Contacts', 'Calendar', 'Preferences', 'Widgets', 3rd party APIs in MobileMe. Moreover, iTools existed long before Google entered these sophisticated cloud services. As for notifications, its been beaten to death, the only part where it appears Apple copied was the drop-down gesture. That drop down gesture has been part of Symbian, WindowsMobile, iOS SBSettings; nothing new. But definitely props to Google for popularising it. Moreover, there aren't 1000s of ways of implementing those gestures. Swipe from bottom was taken by WebOS - left/right are absurd and awkward (EDIT: Just like the ****ed up notification centre in OS X Mountain Lion) and swipe from top existed before Android. Research your stuff before you speak openly about it. Enough said.

Anyway, who cares anymore. Apple has always been the sue-happiest company in the industry. And now, since there haven't been any real innovations since the introduction of the first iPhone, apparently litigation is all that's left for them to do.

Wonder where the iPad came from - AirPlay, Siri, tonnes of other innovations. But I guess for you android folks, more RAM and more Cores are the real innovations. No wonder.

EDIT: I don't wish to sound condescending. Apple is not the only company innovating period. There are companies who spend 2-3 times what Apple spends on R&D. But there's hardly a company out there out-innovating Apple with subject to the products Apple is releasing. NONE.

Don't bother replying to comment, please.

Thanks.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BobbyRond Avatar
116 months ago

I am not a fan of Android as a platform, but it is different and 'deserves' to continue. That was all opinion, of course.


I'm a pretty big fan of iOS and consider Android not very different. Microsoft's approach to mobile phone software on the other hand is very different.

I've had the Lumia in my hands once and although I think the phone design itself is really ugly, Windows Phone software worked fluently and has a total different approach on how a smartphone should work when comparing it to iOS. Android feels very iOS'ish to me...
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Zunjine Avatar
116 months ago

Time to boycot. Tired of this crap. iPhone hasnt changed in 5 years besides minor things. Look at pictures from the first iPhone OS, until now.. It has a different dock and wallpaper.

Android is taking them to the cleaners at this point.


You're right of course. Nothing new in five years. Nothing at all. I mean, other than the App Store, multitasking, iCloud, Copy and Paste, Siri, Gamecentre, iTunes in the Cloud, Safari Reader, folders, notification centre, iMessages, Newstand, Facetime, Airplay, Airplay Mirroring and a ****-ton of other features relating to everything from the camera to how you manage the OS.

Other than all that stuff and literally hundreds of other, smaller features nothing has changed because the main screen still looks fairly similar. Yeah, just like how Windows hasn't changed in two decades cause you still have a mouse pointer and folders on the desktop.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Small White Car Avatar
116 months ago
I find it really hard to have an opinion on these stories.

On the one hand, it's all wasteful and it would be nice if this sort of stuff didn't happen. On the other hand, I can't exactly wish that Apple would sit out while everyone else plays the lawyer game. That would end poorly for them.

So, basically: blaghhh
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
the8thark Avatar
116 months ago

Time to boycot. Tired of this crap. iPhone hasnt changed in 5 years besides minor things. Look at pictures from the first iPhone OS, until now.. It has a different dock and wallpaper.

Android is taking them to the cleaners at this point.


Apple and it's $97 Billion in the bank beg to differ.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bbeagle Avatar
116 months ago

That's fascinating. How exactly can you "willfully exploit" something that by its very definition is FREE SOFTWARE. Java has been put under the GNU General Public License by SUN before Oracle acquired the company. I find playing the patent game on a technology that was made available as free software rather absurd.


The specifications for the language named Java is licensed under the GNU General Public License, but the executable Java platform is NOT free. This must be licensed from Oracle. Did Google create their own Java based on the specifications, or use Oracle's Java executable?


Android itself is also free software. While a system might be require a license from Google to get access to the Android Market and while most companies require assistant from Google to get the software running on their hardware, it nevertheless is open source software and can be used by anyone.


You can't use the latest Android version, Ice Cream Sandwich, without a licensing agreement from Google. While Google says that Android is 'free software', this is technically only true for older versions, not the most recent versions.



I take it that you haven't been around long enough to know that Apple has always been notorious for suing anyone who had a mouse in the basement and a trash bin next to his desk. (That metaphor actually is from the 1980s when Apple sued every company that came up with an own graphical user interface. And it's noteworthy here that Apple didn't invent the graphical user interface.)


Why spout lies? Apple only sued to protect it's GUI, that it bought the rights to use from Xerox.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
foldable iPhone concept feature

Apple Testing In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for iPhone 13, Foldable iPhone Also in the Works

Friday January 15, 2021 1:46 pm PST by
Apple has started "early work" on an iPhone that has a foldable display, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Though testing of a foldable iPhone has begun, Apple has not committed to releasing a device that has a foldable display. Development has not yet expanded beyond a display and Apple does not have full foldable iPhone prototypes in its labs. Like foldable...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
iP12 charge airpods feature 2

Hidden iPhone 12 Hardware Feature Could Still be Unlocked

Thursday January 14, 2021 2:51 am PST by
All iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models purportedly have a hidden reverse wireless charging feature, according to an FCC filing. The feature has not yet been activated, but could yet be unlocked for an upcoming Apple accessory. The FCC filing suggests that iPhone 12 models contain the hardware for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) to accessories: In addition to being able to be charged by a...
Top Stories 43 Feature

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and iPhone Rumors, Best of CES 2021

Saturday January 16, 2021 6:00 am PST by
This week was sure a busy one in the Apple world, with a flurry of announcements out of CES early in the week followed by a rash of Mac- and iPhone-related rumors later in the week. The new rumors this week included details on updated MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models, as well as a few other tidbits, so make sure to read on below to get caught up! Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to...
iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
Apple TV Ray Light 2 Triad

Apple Extends Free Apple TV+ Trials Until July

Friday January 15, 2021 10:50 am PST by
Apple is once again planning to extend its free Apple TV+ trial subscriptions, this time until July. When Apple TV+ launched in November 2019, Apple offered free Apple TV+ subscriptions to those who purchased a new Apple device in or after September 2019. Those free subscriptions were set to expire in November 2020, but in October 2020, Apple announced that it was extending free trials...
pat gelsinger intel

Incoming Intel CEO Derides Company's Inability to 'Deliver Better Products' Than Apple's M1 Chip

Friday January 15, 2021 6:17 am PST by
Incoming Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has said that the company must "deliver better products" than Apple, which he described as a "lifestyle company," and says that Intel's best days are "in front of it" (via The Oregonian). Speaking at an Intel all-hands meeting yesterday, Gelsinger derisively implied that Apple is merely a "lifestyle company," so Intel must be able to surpass its technology: ...
mac pro mini feature

Apple Working on Two New Mac Pro Desktops, One of Which Will Be Reminiscent of Power Mac G4 Cube

Friday January 15, 2021 10:23 am PST by
Apple is developing two versions of the Mac Pro to succeed the Mac Pro that was first released in December 2019, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The first updated Mac Pro is a direct successor to the current Mac Pro and it will use the same design. It may also be equipped with Intel processors rather than Apple silicon chips, and it could be one of the sole machines in the Mac...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...